The Kemp Leadership Academy (KLA) supports professional and Olympic athletes who may be interested in public policy or aspire to public office. The objective is to enable accomplished athletes to learn more about themselve , about competing ideas and national issues, and about the world of politics so they can be effective leaders beyond the playing field.
Athletes have natural leadership qualities as well as name recognition, giving them an inherent advantage in the political arena; but in pursuit of their sport, most will have had little time for self-reflection much less public policy studies. And they may be utterly unfamiliar with how Washington works. To realize their potential, they need individualized coaching, and that is what the Kemp Leadership Academy provides.
The mission of the Kemp Leadership Academy (KLA) is to mentor and sharpen the political philosophy, public policy insights and political leadership skills of accomplished athletes. It is an intensive educational and practical workout to expose talented individuals to the historical and philosophical foundations of the American idea, the issues, thinkers and leaders on the national and international stage today, and the workings of government so they can form their own views and find their own way. They will also learn essential communication skills and how to build a winning team in the political spotlight.
KLA does not participate or intervene in political campaigns on behalf of any candidate for public office, but will help athletes find their own voice. As Jack Kemp’s life and career exemplified, the scorecard is principles, not partisanship. Successful nominees will have demonstrated personal qualities of integrity, leadership, moral courage, democratic values, and the desire to make a difference in the lives of their fellow citizens. Successful graduates will go on to make that difference.
“ Leadership is the ability not only to recognize problems, but to summon the wisdom, courage, and determination to solve them before they become crises.” – Jack Kemp